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  1. #326
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    Utah is the best team in the league. Memphis is dangerous. Lakers are lazy and not too impressive. Worst champion in at least twenty years.

    Spurs were compe ive, punching above their weight. If White integrates and gets back to normal, they're a serious problem for the conference.
    Utah and Memphis are both good (and well coached). Comment was more that they’ve both played a bunch of games against the east and the schedules will get a bit more challenging. Utah could still finish with the best record in the west, and Memphis could climb to top 4. Utah has the highest SRS in league with Milwaukee.

    Spurs are at 40 win pace (72 game season) and probably end up there or slightly better by season’s end - schedule gets easier but negative point diff will catch up to them a bit. Advanced stats think they’re overachieving - they might be - but also seem to take foot off the gas. Like tonight should have been a 30 point win and was barely double digits. And when they lose, they lose badly.

  2. #327
    Machacarredes Chinook's Avatar
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    Also, I'm waiting for the " Chinook owes Poeltl an apology" thread or something like that, for saying LMA is still the best player on the team... Not the best of takes
    I'm sure it'll happen. There are a couple of Poeltl homers on this board. Though to be fair, I was fine with his contract and defended him against folks who weren't. Do I think he's better than LMA could be if he got back into his old rhythm? No. But yes, LMA has thusofar been nowhere near SA's best player, and I can admit that freely. That's one of the reasons I've grown more pessimistic about SA's ceiling this year.

  3. #328
    Veteran The Truth #6's Avatar
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    I'm sure it'll happen. There are a couple of Poeltl homers on this board. Though to be fair, I was fine with his contract and defended him against folks who weren't. Do I think he's better than LMA could be if he got back into his old rhythm? No. But yes, LMA has thusofar been nowhere near SA's best player, and I can admit that freely. That's one of the reasons I've grown more pessimistic about SA's ceiling this year.
    I'm struggling to understand your idea that a healthy and productive LA (at 35 years old or whatever) should be the focal point of the team. Running the offense through him seems like lunacy when we have all of our talent out on the perimeter. Don't get me wrong, I would love for LA to be playing well, but there are negative costs for making him, a player on his way out the door, the centerpiece of the team. Or are you suggesting he would have more of a complementary role?

  4. #329
    Every game is game 1 Seventyniner's Avatar
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    Game flashback - 1998

    Spurs 74 - Pacers 55
    A month prior to that game: Pacers 124, Blazers 59. The Blazers had just beaten MJ's Bulls in Chicago the game before that.
    https://www.basketball-reference.com...802270IND.html

    The Blazers' 63.8 ORtg in that game is the lowest I've ever seen. I would check bkref but they put their stats stuff behind a paywall now.

    In that Spurs/Pacers game the Pacers managed a 72.7 ORtg, largely because of the absolutely glacial pace of that game (75.7).
    https://www.basketball-reference.com/boxscores/199803290IND.html


    Edit: I'm just now realizing how slow of a pace 75.7 is. A pace of 100, fast compared to the league's recent past but average for now, means each possession lasts 14.4 seconds on average. A pace of 75.7 has each possession lasting just over 19 seconds.

    For comparison, if each team just got the ball and held it until the shot clock ran out every possession, the pace would be 60 (at the end of regulation with the score 0-0). That's not quite the theoretical minimum because teams could launch shots at the shot clock buzzer and, assuming the ball hit the rim, the game clock would continue to run before the rebound is secured (starting the shot clock), but 60 has to be pretty close.

    The Spurs and Pacers (19 seconds per possession) were nearly as close to that "perfect" game (24 sec/poss) than to a 100-pace game (14.4 sec/poss). Insane.
    Last edited by Seventyniner; 02-12-2021 at 11:35 PM.

  5. #330
    Machacarredes Chinook's Avatar
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    I'm struggling to understand your idea that a healthy and productive LA (at 35 years old or whatever) should be the focal point of the team. Running the offense through him seems like lunacy when we have all of our talent out on the perimeter. Don't get me wrong, I would love for LA to be playing well, but there are negative costs for making him, a player on his way out the door, the centerpiece of the team. Or are you suggesting he would have more of a complementary role?
    I don't rate the current performance of the perimeter players as highly as a lot of STers do. DeRozan is playing like a second-tier star, but the rest of the group is neutral to negative. I'm skeptical of the offense and probably will be unless SA can win some playoff games. I find it really fluky, and it doesn't surprise me that they have games where it completely falls apart. LMA is a borderline HoFer. The gap between how good he was in his even post-prime and the young guys is gigantic. I'm pretty comfortable in saying in this year's West, the 2017-2018 Spurs would've been fighting for HCA in the first round, and that's with a perimeter supporting cast that was even more limited than the current crop.

    But the proof's in the pudding, right? Like the Spurs are playing about as well anyone could've realistically expected, even though LMA has fallen off. That's a testament to Pop's coaching and team-management, as well as to the other guys for finding a way to have a better record than their stats would suggest they should. LMA hasn't been the guy I thought he'd be, even realistically feared he'd be. That it so far objective truth. It's a fantasy on my part to create a world where LMA is that guy and then criticize real-world Pop for not playing LMA as if he's that fantasy version.

  6. #331
    Veteran Dejounte's Avatar
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    Chinook still attributing the Spurs issues to offense, as if basketball is a one-sided affair. How sad. Whatever is convenient for you, buddy. Just like how the offense can only prove you wrong all the way until they win a couple playoff games. Just downright laughable these bars you set.

    Forget it. I have to leave you alone. I just know deep down you're a lot smarter than this, but I guess pride can cloud a lot of things, including common sense.

  7. #332
    Veteran Dejounte's Avatar
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  8. #333
    Veteran The Truth #6's Avatar
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    I don't rate the current performance of the perimeter players as highly as a lot of STers do. DeRozan is playing like a second-tier star, but the rest of the group is neutral to negative. I'm skeptical of the offense and probably will be unless SA can win some playoff games. I find it really fluky, and it doesn't surprise me that they have games where it completely falls apart. LMA is a borderline HoFer. The gap between how good he was in his even post-prime and the young guys is gigantic. I'm pretty comfortable in saying in this year's West, the 2017-2018 Spurs would've been fighting for HCA in the first round, and that's with a perimeter supporting cast that was even more limited than the current crop.

    But the proof's in the pudding, right? Like the Spurs are playing about as well anyone could've realistically expected, even though LMA has fallen off. That's a testament to Pop's coaching and team-management, as well as to the other guys for finding a way to have a better record than their stats would suggest they should. LMA hasn't been the guy I thought he'd be, even realistically feared he'd be. That it so far objective truth. It's a fantasy on my part to create a world where LMA is that guy and then criticize real-world Pop for not playing LMA as if he's that fantasy version.
    I see your points. LA is a HOF'er. Unfortunately, big men seem to hit a precipitous cliff at the end of their careers and it seems like LA has hit his and is rolling down the other side. Now, what isn't discussed much is that it's possible he is simply disgruntled at being dangled and then not dealt and his poor play is partly a product of low effort/morale on his part. I actually hope that's the case and not simply an injury, as odd as that sounds.

    The Spurs are a fluky team. Erratic. The point differential is negative or maybe closer to neutral after tonight, and so they probably are overachieving, but it just as may be a learning curve where they emerge as more consistent in the next 15 games or so.

    Anyway, the future is murky. For me, investing in the young players rather than the vets is the only way for me to stay invested in the team. Everyone has their own way.

  9. #334
    Still Sporting Ben Davis Allan Rowe vs Wade's Avatar
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    nah chinook's basketball takes are usually

  10. #335
    Veteran ace3g's Avatar
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  11. #336
    Machacarredes Chinook's Avatar
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    Chinook still attributing the Spurs issues to offense, as if basketball is a one-sided affair. How sad. Whatever is convenient for you, buddy. Just like how the offense can only prove you wrong all the way until they win a couple playoff games. Just downright laughable these bars you set.

    Forget it. I have to leave you alone. I just know deep down you're a lot smarter than this, but I guess pride can cloud a lot of things, including common sense.
    I feel like you meant a different criticism than you actually stated.

    I haven't attributed ANY problems to the Spurs, especially not in the post you quoted, so I certainly didn't attribute them to just offense or whatever. That said, the Spurs have a negative net-rating. and their SRS is that of a non-playoff team. So them being four games above .500 certainly is notable. I'm not arbitrarily dogging them. The numbers say SA isn't as good as their record, and a lot of that is because the guys who are playing now aren't as good as Aldridge was when he was still productive. The 17-18 Spurs were a really solid team, and they actually under performed their projected record. As just a snapshot, that was a significantly better team than this year's squad, and it was not as talented (though it did have Manu, and he's hard to quantify). Of course, in terms of actual trajectories, that team was stagnating and hopefully this one is rising. There's reason for optimism, and I think Pop is basically doing the right thing in how he's constructing the offense with what he realistically has.

    So yeah, it's really weird that you're trying to criticize me for my previous post. No, I don't have to just use a narrow set of optimistic conditions and admit I was wrong about whatever. I already admitted that LMA hasn't been playing like the team's best player. But it's also false to think I have to admit this team is playing special ball or that their defense is making up for their offense or whatever. That hasn't been born out in stats yet. The team is still more negative than they were last year, let alone two years ago when they actually were able to feature LMA. That LMA seems gone for good. But if he weren't, he obviously be the focal point of the offense and best player on the team. DMDR is the best player on the team and arguably playing the best ball of his career, and he's still not as good as LMA was in 17-18. No, being smaller and switchable wouldn't negate that.

    EDIT: Also, winning a couple of playoff games isn't some random high bar. The team should make playoffs if they maintain their trajectory, and whether their offense can survive the increased scrutiny and intensity that come with post-season play is a perfectly reasonable test. It's not like I said they had to make the WCF or something.

  12. #337
    Every game is game 1 Seventyniner's Avatar
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    The Spurs are a fluky team. Erratic. The point differential is negative or maybe closer to neutral after tonight, and so they probably are overachieving, but it just as may be a learning curve where they emerge as more consistent in the next 15 games or so.
    Tonight's 4th quarter alone dropped the Spurs' PPG differential by just over 1. I do appreciate the predictive power of scoring margin, but I don't think it quite accurately captures how the Spurs have played.

  13. #338
    Machacarredes Chinook's Avatar
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    I see your points. LA is a HOF'er. Unfortunately, big men seem to hit a precipitous cliff at the end of their careers and it seems like LA has hit his and is rolling down the other side. Now, what isn't discussed much is that it's possible he is simply disgruntled at being dangled and then not dealt and his poor play is partly a product of low effort/morale on his part. I actually hope that's the case and not simply an injury, as odd as that sounds.

    The Spurs are a fluky team. Erratic. The point differential is negative or maybe closer to neutral after tonight, and so they probably are overachieving, but it just as may be a learning curve where they emerge as more consistent in the next 15 games or so.

    Anyway, the future is murky. For me, investing in the young players rather than the vets is the only way for me to stay invested in the team. Everyone has their own way.
    Yeah, so I think LMA was slimming down expecting to be a stretch-five and then stopped doing that when it looked like he was going to be traded. Then he ended up doing that stretch-five thing but not having the body for it. Some disgruntlement could be the case. His play is some effort, some age but a lot of scheme. The reason why he's not closing out isn't just because he can't move as fast or because he doesn't want to commit. It's also because he sinks really far on the screen plays and then ends up with a way longer closeout. Poeltl doesn't stay with the guard nearly as long, so he doesn't have to sprint to get back to the shooter. I don't know that LMA is all that effective protecting the rim anyway, so I don't know why he doesn't just sink less.

    I fear you and Jount might've interpreted my post to suggest that I think the Spurs should be playing LMA as their focal point now. To be clear, I'm not saying that. I don't think he's playing nearly well enough for that. I was more just saying why I went into the season thinking LMA was still the team's best player and why I thought the offense should involve him more. I'm not in love with how Aldridge has been used as it is, but I wouldn't advocate for him getting a ton of isos or something. Also, I don't know why I am getting labeled as particularly anti-Poeltl. There are a lot of prominent STers who actually rag on him. I've been on the whole positive of his play, and probably more positive on his offensive potential than any non-homer.

  14. #339
    Machacarredes Chinook's Avatar
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    Tonight's 4th quarter alone dropped the Spurs' PPG differential by just over 1. I do appreciate the predictive power of scoring margin, but I don't think it quite accurately captures how the Spurs have played.
    I think it's a bit more complicated than just saying whether the stats can predict well or not. SA having the record they do despite having some stats for non-playoff teams can combine with other stats to tell the story of how they played. Like SA is 3-1 in 3pt games and 7-6 in 10pt games. The former percentage is sort of an outlier, since you'd expect something like 50-50 (though obviously on a bigger sample size). That SA won that extra game ties into how DMDR actually has been more clutch than his rep predicted. Them being on the bad side of so many 10pt helps explain why they have such a poor net rating; when they lose, they have often lost badly. And maybe that's a scheme thing or experience thing, or injury thing or whatever.

    Stats are what they are. They aren't wrong. It's our explanations for them that usually need refinement. SA outplaying their record doesn't have to just mean they're lucky. It can mean they're gritty or clutch or maybe that they've so far faced a number of weak or anti-clutch teams.

  15. #340
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    I'm sure it'll happen. There are a couple of Poeltl homers on this board. Though to be fair, I was fine with his contract and defended him against folks who weren't. Do I think he's better than LMA could be if he got back into his old rhythm? No. But yes, LMA has thusofar been nowhere near SA's best player, and I can admit that freely. That's one of the reasons I've grown more pessimistic about SA's ceiling this year.

    Uh, LMA is washed up buddy, he is not going to get back in any rhythm

  16. #341
    Body Of Work Mr. Body's Avatar
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    Crazy standings during a crazy year. Any team can get out or into the playoffs with a change of fate. Only LAL, LAC and Utah seem safe. The Spurs meanwhile are 8-3 on the road. If they managed to do better at home, look out.

  17. #342
    Veteran The Truth #6's Avatar
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    I think it's a bit more complicated than just saying whether the stats can predict well or not. SA having the record they do despite having some stats for non-playoff teams can combine with other stats to tell the story of how they played. Like SA is 3-1 in 3pt games and 7-6 in 10pt games. The former percentage is sort of an outlier, since you'd expect something like 50-50 (though obviously on a bigger sample size). That SA won that extra game ties into how DMDR actually has been more clutch than his rep predicted. Them being on the bad side of so many 10pt helps explain why they have such a poor net rating; when they lose, they have often lost badly. And maybe that's a scheme thing or experience thing, or injury thing or whatever.

    Stats are what they are. They aren't wrong. It's our explanations for them that usually need refinement. SA outplaying their record doesn't have to just mean they're lucky. It can mean they're gritty or clutch or maybe that they've so far faced a number of weak or anti-clutch teams.
    I’m assuming it’s a mean average. I’d be curious to see a median average to compare.

  18. #343
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    If we don’t trade LMA wouldn’t it be nice if he was willing to come off the bench. I feel like his defense would be masked a lot more against bench units. Yes I realize there’s 0% chance this would happen

  19. #344
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    Tonight's 4th quarter alone dropped the Spurs' PPG differential by just over 1. I do appreciate the predictive power of scoring margin, but I don't think it quite accurately captures how the Spurs have played.
    What the Hawks did was the equivalent of a QB putting up 400 yards in a game they were never in (kind of what poor Mahomes did in the SB after getting ravaged behind that o-line)

    Point differential is skewed by garbage time, and also is a reason betting on the line vs. heads up is so random. Advanced stats try to iron some of that out based on who’s on the court (disregard garbage time lineups), but even that isn’t perfect. More weight really should be put on performance when the game outcome isn’t 98% decided. That includes being down 20 to start the fourth, or being down 10 with a minute to play.

  20. #345
    Don't stop believin' Dex's Avatar
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    What the Hawks did was the equivalent of a QB putting up 400 yards in a game they were never in (kind of what poor Mahomes did in the SB after getting ravaged behind that o-line)

    Point differential is skewed by garbage time, and also is a reason betting on the line vs. heads up is so random. Advanced stats try to iron some of that out based on who’s on the court (disregard garbage time lineups), but even that isn’t perfect. More weight really should be put on performance when the game outcome isn’t 98% decided. That includes being down 20 to start the fourth, or being down 10 with a minute to play.
    That's why I'm all about moneyline. The spread is designed to essentially turn every bet into a near 50/50. I'd rather take a lower/higher payout and feel like I am making an educated guess.

  21. #346
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    Because he is an important rotational player and doesn't need to be on the court risking injury playing against a bunch of scrubs ?
    maybe so. I just figured that he would get more run in the 4th especially with it being in his home town. he would’ve helped the crew not play so ty in the 4th quarter that’s for sure.

  22. #347
    You never know JPB's Avatar
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    Utah and Memphis are both good (and well coached). Comment was more that they’ve both played a bunch of games against the east and the schedules will get a bit more challenging. Utah could still finish with the best record in the west, and Memphis could climb to top 4. Utah has the highest SRS in league with Milwaukee.

    Spurs are at 40 win pace (72 game season) and probably end up there or slightly better by season’s end - schedule gets easier but negative point diff will catch up to them a bit. Advanced stats think they’re overachieving - they might be - but also seem to take foot off the gas. Like tonight should have been a 30 point win and was barely double digits. And when they lose, they lose badly.
    One blowout win and your pt. diff takes 1 to 1.5 pt. At some point in the game it increased by over 1.5 pt when they spurs up 40. I agree that pt. diff usually tells the story at the end but 25 games is still to few to really draw any conclusion yet regarding that stat.

  23. #348
    The St. Croix Boy duncan2k5's Avatar
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    Lol @ high level

  24. #349
    The St. Croix Boy duncan2k5's Avatar
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    I see your points. LA is a HOF'er. Unfortunately, big men seem to hit a precipitous cliff at the end of their careers and it seems like LA has hit his and is rolling down the other side. Now, what isn't discussed much is that it's possible he is simply disgruntled at being dangled and then not dealt and his poor play is partly a product of low effort/morale on his part. I actually hope that's the case and not simply an injury, as odd as that sounds.

    The Spurs are a fluky team. Erratic. The point differential is negative or maybe closer to neutral after tonight, and so they probably are overachieving, but it just as may be a learning curve where they emerge as more consistent in the next 15 games or so.

    Anyway, the future is murky. For me, investing in the young players rather than the vets is the only way for me to stay invested in the team. Everyone has their own way.
    No way LA is a HOF'er...if he makes it, then anyone with a long career can get in, regardless of accomplishments...

  25. #350
    The St. Croix Boy duncan2k5's Avatar
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    Crazy standings during a crazy year. Any team can get out or into the playoffs with a change of fate. Only LAL, LAC and Utah seem safe. The Spurs meanwhile are 8-3 on the road. If they managed to do better at home, look out.
    Road games don't exist

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